A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Thursday Thought — Abusers tend to return to their abuse

Scripture has more to say about abusers than we often realize.  Barbara compiled scriptures that show that abusers tend to return to their abuse.  These scriptures and more can be found on our Scriptures Describing Abuse page.


But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.   (Exodus 9:34. See also 8:15 and 10:20)

A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again. (Prov 19:19)

Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him. (Prov 27:22)

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (Prov 26:11,12,16)

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Prov 25:28)

A worthless witness mocks at justice, and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity. (Prov 19:28a)

And this is the judgment; the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. (John 3:19-20)

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. (2 Tim 3:8)



  1. Suzanne

    What does it mean to be “disqualified regarding the faith” as it pertains to abuse?

    • MarkQ

      I think this part of the letter is talking about people Timothy will run into, and Paul is contrasting them from the characteristics he said Timothy should exhibit in chapter 2. So, perhaps disqualified is in regards to leadership – these men should never become leaders.

      I think it is interesting that a common theme among those people is that they don’t understanding the working of the Holy Spirit. The typical elder in my old denomination felt that faithfully following the law and order of the church was essentially a guarantee that the right thing was done and people would change. Many of these “hold to a form of Godliness, but deny its power”. Instead of leaving the work of changing hearts to the Holy Spirit, they believe it’s their responsibility to ramp up pressure and fear of punishment through the church courts.

      Specifically, in regards to abuse, I think it’s fascinating: “For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins.” I think Paul is talking about grooming here. These women, although I believe the same for men, feel shame and guilt for their sins, instead of the freedom that should come with forgiveness. Abusers, then, use that guilt and shame to confuse and manipulate their targets. In the same way, the churches I grew up in emphasized our negatives as humans, and I believe that has been essentially church-wide grooming.

      • TB

        Wow, MarkQ. What you said is so true. In fact, I was trapped in that very mentality for years. Only after leaving my marriage of almost 30 years have I learned to live by the empowering grace of the Holy Spirit. I am so sad I was caught up in the law of living self-righteously, and being bullied by my h the way you described above, especially when I left him. My home was not filled with grace and forgiveness. We did not know what that looked like. There was always tension, anger, fighting, fear, shame. I wish I had known better. I did and do have faith in Christ, but I was constantly trying to make myself be better, morph myself into some awesome Christian woman, be who I thought my husband wanted me to be. And keep up appearances. That was another hard job. UGH! My heart is now like clay in the potter’s hands. May he change it and shape it whichever way he wants.

    • APG

      To become “disqualified from the faith” means … in my humble opinion … that “God has REJECTED such people because they are actually reprobates’
      (just like an silversmith will reject false-silver once it has PROVEN that the “silver” is actually ‘dross’).

      A reprobate is someone who ‘pretends’ to be a ‘Christian’ (i.e. has a form-of / formula-for ‘godliness’) BUT they do NOT allow the ‘power’ of God to actually change them (i.e. they ‘deny’ God using His own power of change them from within).

      Jeremiah 6:30 / Romans 1:28
      2 Corinthians 13:5-8 / Titus 1:16

      • Jeff Crippen

        APG – You are correct in your statement here, but I would tweak it just a bit in regard to the definition of a reprobate. Specifically, a reprobate may or may not pretend to be a Christian. That is to say, a reprobate is a person who has so often received God’s truth, even powerfully with the conviction of the Spirit, and rejected that truth that God as you say rejects them once and for all. An apostate is a person who at one time professed Christ, but then returned to their wicked life, demonstrating that their faith was false in the first place.

        Hebrews chapter 6 is a classic passage on the apostate. And regarding the reprobate I would look at Romans 1, 2 Peter, and Jude.

        Thanks much for your input.

      • UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


        Thanks Jeff, that is a helpful clarification for me too.

  2. CMP

    Hardened, cold, selfish, cynical, cruel and they justify themselves: very destructive people.

  3. Finding Answers

    Quoted from the post:

    And this is the judgment; the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. (John 3:19-20)

    Simplifying, perhaps overmuch……

    There are those who prefer the dark and will do anything to stay in the shadows.

    There are those who continue to reach for the light, pursuing the Word to avoid the shadows.

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